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Archive 2011 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.
  
 
Milque
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p.1 #1 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


I was playing around last night with high speed sync.

I was using the following:

5d2 with PW TT5 as trigger.

430EX II with PW TT5 as receiver.

Now I've had issues with the PW in the past so this may be the issue right there, I suppose I can hook up an ST-E2 and retest to see if the issue is PW or Canon related.

Anyway, the test was pointing the flash towards the camera with some illuminated things behind it that would show up without flash.

At normal shutter speeds the light from the flash floods the frame producing near whiteout.

As the shutter speed decreases (around 1/1000 or so), I start getting an odd thing. The lower portion of the image is flooded with light. The upper portion is dark, but not black. I can see the illuminated objects behind it, but I am not seeing light from the flash itself.

So I'm not blocking out part of the image with the shutter or I'd have pure black.

As the shutter decreases all the way to 1/8000 this gets more and more obvious. Lower 2/3 or so white out, top 1/3-1/2 no flash.

Is this expected behavior I'm not wise enough to understand?




Feb 02, 2011 at 05:56 PM
dan7768s
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p.1 #2 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


No, that is not expected behavior. I've shot at 1/8000 with high speed sync with the Mini/Flex combo and it works fine. But I haven't used it with a 430EX II though (but the 430 does do high speed sync), just the 580ex, 580ex II and 550ex. If part of the image is blacked out then something is not working right.

Make sure the strobe does not have master (which the 430 doesn't have anyhow) or slave turned on. It should be in ETTL mode.



Feb 03, 2011 at 03:47 AM
Milque
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p.1 #3 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


It's the pocketwizards. I rechecked with the ST-E2 and no sign of the problem. I'm am absolutely regretting ever buying in to the Flex system.


Feb 03, 2011 at 04:38 AM
anotherview
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p.1 #4 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


I had a peculiar problem using the Flex system in my small studio. At the usual settings of 1/200 sec, f/8, ISO 100, with some positive FEC (shooting manual), the lower half of the frame came out black several times.

I removed the PW gear, and switched to the Canon wireless system, which works in my small studio to control two 580EX IIs. The same settings produced the expected image.



Feb 03, 2011 at 06:13 AM
dan7768s
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p.1 #5 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


You said "same settings", did you mean exactly the same? If all you did was replace the Flex/Mini with the ST-E2, then your flash was in slave mode when were using the the Flex/Mini. The flash cannot be in slave mode when you use the PW Flex/Mini.


Feb 03, 2011 at 01:07 PM
E-Vener
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p.1 #6 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


Have you updated the firmware for all of the Control PW components?

Have you updated your camera firmware?



Feb 03, 2011 at 01:10 PM
Milque
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p.1 #7 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


Camera and PW firmware are all up to date. I've had multiple issues with the PW since I bought them. I thought I'd narrowed it down to a single TT5, but have since had issues crop up with at least one more.

This high speed flash issue seems to be common to all of them. I'd be curious to have someone else try it. TT5 transmitter and TT5 slave on a Canon flash. I believe I was using the AC3 and had the AC3 set to manual, but I don't think this affects the results. Point the flash at the camera, start at 1/200th (or whatever your cameras max sync speed is), take a picture. Re-expose until the flash blows out the image. Then start upping the sync speed and see if the characteristics of the flash change as you get up over 1/1000th (other than the normal expected change from shorter exposures).

And to Dan, yes I was in the correct mode when using the TT5. It actually took me a minute to remember how to get the 430ex II back into slave mode when I tried the ST-E2.

If this thread is still around tonight when I'm off work, I'll post some samples so you can see what I'm talking about.



Feb 03, 2011 at 02:21 PM
ross attix
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p.1 #8 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


This is second hand, but I found this posted by a user named Redfish elsewhere. The part about reset to factory specs after firmware update seemed like it might be the problem. There were some other suggestions on this thread to check:

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=835065

Yet another update. Continued to have trouble with a 5D mark II. finally got around to calling PW tech guy. He said to make sure all TT5's we using the 5.0 firmware. Once firmware was updates - RESET TO FACTORY SPECS by switching off and holding down the test button and turn on - holding down the test button until there are 4 green blinks.

Did this - update and reset - all units and it was like magic!!!!! Shooting at 1/5000th f/1.2 at iso 100 with 580ex II's and the 5D Mark II

good luck - Call Pocket Wizard tech guy if you have questions - they are great!!



Feb 03, 2011 at 02:45 PM
Milque
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p.1 #9 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


ross attix wrote:
This is second hand, but I found this posted by a user named Redfish elsewhere. The part about reset to factory specs after firmware update seemed like it might be the problem. There were some other suggestions on this thread to check:

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=835065

Yet another update. Continued to have trouble with a 5D mark II. finally got around to calling PW tech guy. He said to make sure all TT5's we using the 5.0 firmware. Once firmware was updates - RESET TO FACTORY SPECS by switching off and holding down the test button and turn on - holding down the test
...Show more

Nope, done that too (although I had even more issues before figuring that out).

I have a tech support call into them. They want to do a live call to troubleshoot so I'm waiting to hear if they can do it on a weekend as I work normal business hours.



Feb 03, 2011 at 02:53 PM
dan7768s
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p.1 #10 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


I normally use the Mini TT1 on the camera, but I just replaced it with a Flex TT5. I tried it with both with and without the AC3. In both cases high speed sync worked just fine at 1/8000 shutter speed. I do have the latest mini/flex and camera firmware.

There are settings in the Flex and Mini for the timing for HSS, but the defaults should work with the Canon speedlites.



Feb 03, 2011 at 03:13 PM
 

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E-Vener
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p.1 #11 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


instead of taking just one shot at specific setting , take two or more and see if the problem is consistent.

Why are you pointing the flash at the camera in the first place?



Feb 03, 2011 at 04:06 PM
Milque
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p.1 #12 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


I've taken series of shots at the same and multiple shutter speeds. It's a consistent problem.

I decided to test with the flash pointed at the camera because I noticed the issue in regular shots, but it was difficult to tell exactly what was going on (as I've said before the darker portion of the frame is NOT blacked out like you get when the shutter blocks the light).

Pointing the flash at the light and letting it flood the frame gave a consistent result that was easy to test against.



Feb 03, 2011 at 04:35 PM
anotherview
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p.1 #13 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


By "same settings" with the wireless system, I did not describe the mode of the 580EX IIs.

By wireless, I did mean the ST-E2 device but the built-in infrared system that works in conjunction with ETTL II.

I understand (perhaps incorrectly) that the off-camera 580EX has to be in slave mode to work with the Flex system

I bought the PW devices expecting straightforward ease of use, and found anything but.

The manual begins with a description of every update to the software, instead of with a plain-language guide beginning with basics and necessities.

The system appears to go to sleep even though I set the flash custom function to disable sleep action. At times, I have to turn off the camera and turn in it back on to get the system to work.

When I have a subject sitting on the stool in my small studio, I want my flash units to trigger every time without the concern for unreliable triggering which the PW devices introduce.

I even bought the AC3 hoping it would reduce the process to the advertised and ballyhooed simplicity, and it did not perform as hoped.

As a technically trained and inclined individual, I certainly know and understand the role of the operator as the possible origin of error.

I did take the time to download and install the latest PW updates to each device. I have the unfriendly manual. I suppose I must knuckle down to learn this flash control system for my eventual location flash activity. Meanwhile, I find myself rather disappointed with the apparent flakiness of the PW.



Feb 04, 2011 at 12:39 AM
dan7768s
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p.1 #14 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


The flash should not be in slave mode when it has a flex or mini attached. It has to be in that mode that has no name, i.e. not slave and not master.

flexability=complexity and that is the weakness of the mini/flex system. It took me a while to get to a point where I was comfortable that I had things set up properly. However I found there tech support to be good. The doc's aren't so good though.

BTW Syl Arena in his Speedliters handbook ( http://www.amazon.com/Speedliters-Handbook-Learning-Craft-Speedlites/dp/032171105X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296788377&sr=8-1 )
is a proponent of not using wireless at all. He uses a long cable for the master flash, and uses it to trigger the others. He has a good argument in terms of cost and reliability.

But now that I feel I have the flex/mini's plus an AC3 figured out I really like them. Being able to switch between manual and ettl from the camera is great.



Feb 04, 2011 at 03:03 AM
anotherview
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p.1 #15 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


dan7768s: Thanks for your reply. I want to make my PW devices work, and will take up that challenge.

Yes, I've begun reading Syl Arena's book. His advocacy of the long sync cable I find interesting. No doubt I will buy one to try his methods.



Feb 04, 2011 at 04:42 AM
Milque
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p.1 #16 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


Ok, I give up.

I just sat down to repeat the experiment, starting with the single flash and TT5 and the TT5 on camera. At first I did it without the AC3 (straight controlTL test of ETTL), then with (controlTL through AC3), then with the AC3 in manual mode.

It is no longer exhibiting the problem.

This is why I am just about ready to chuck pocketwizard altogether. It seems like every time I go to use these things they exhibit different behavior. I know others have used them with great success, but I can't get them to behave reliably at all.



Feb 04, 2011 at 05:19 AM
Milque
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p.1 #17 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


When it WAS doing it, here is an example of what I was seeing:

PW:


ST-E2:


Disregard the different brightness levels, the missing light in the first shot is the issue I'm talking about.



Feb 04, 2011 at 05:22 AM
anotherview
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p.1 #18 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


Milque: I share your frustration. Your 2 images suggest a control failure or a fluke of some kind.

From the PW update documentation that I've read so far, these devices exhibit many peculiar failures. The PW engineers then devise a software update fix.



Feb 04, 2011 at 06:07 AM
Milque
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p.1 #19 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


It wouldn't be so bad if I could narrow it down to a single issue or even a single device. With 4 TT5's, 2 AC9's, and an AC3 every time I think I've put a finger on the weak link... a day later something else goes weird.

It's not worth the frustration.. Except they already have my money.



Feb 04, 2011 at 06:10 AM
anotherview
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p.1 #20 · High speed sync (canon) issues and questions.


They have my money as well. Thank goodness Canon wireless flash lighting technology functions as expected and intended. When I push the shutter button, ETTL triggers my flash units every time. I must have that kind of reliability when taking pictures of children in my small studio.

If you have not done so as yet, you may wish to consider consulting the technicians at PW for help resolving your PW issues.



Feb 04, 2011 at 06:22 AM
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